Related topics: brain

Odd smell: Flies sniff ammonia in a way new to science

The stink of ammonia in urine, sweat, and rotting meat repels humans, but many insects find ammonia alluring. Now, UConn researchers have figured out how the annoying insects smell it, a discovery that could lead to better ...

Fast changing smells can teach mice about space

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL (University College London) have found that mice can sense extremely fast and subtle changes in the structure of odors and use this to guide their behavior. The findings, ...

Lemurs can sniff out hidden fruit from afar

Lemurs can use their sense of smell to locate fruit hidden more than 50 feet away in the forest—but only when the wind blows the fruit's aroma toward them, according to a study published in the American Journal of Physical ...

Battling harmful insects by understanding their sense of smell

In NTNU's Dragvoll laboratory in Trondheim, researchers keep different things in the closet than most of us do. Jars of moths stand in rows. The insects are actually pretty cute, but the Norwegian name for them suggests that ...

Researchers develop tool to identify molecular receptors in worms

Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have developed a tool to identify molecular receptors in worms that are involved in sensing pheromones related to mating, an advance that could speed up neuroscience research ...

Vampire bats help unravel the mystery of smell

The sense of smell is one of the most poorly understood of the five major senses. But now an international team of scientists led by Laurel Yohe of Stony Brook University suggests a new method to quantify olfactory receptors ...

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Olfaction

Olfaction (also known as olfactics or smell) refers to the sense of smell. This sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates, and, by analogy, sensory cells of the antennae of invertebrates. For air-breathing animals, the olfactory system detects volatile or, in the case of the accessory olfactory system, fluid-phase chemicals. For water-dwelling organisms, e.g., fish or crustaceans, the chemicals are present in the surrounding aqueous medium. Olfaction, along with taste, is a form of chemoreception. The chemicals themselves which activate the olfactory system, generally at very low concentrations, are called odors.

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